Three Bodies Found: Is It Business As Usual?
As we write these lines, the worldwide media has just announced the unsurprising news. The three innocent teenage boys who were kidnapped, eighteen days ago, by local Islamic punks were just found. They were dead.
That was clearly going to be the case. No one I know is surprised.
It has been a tense eighteen days for everyone.
What is important now is that it must not be business as usual in Israel.
Five minutes after the horrific announcement tonight on the news, the arguments began. Who is to blame? The police operator who received an emergency call from one of the boys as he was being abducted – but did nothing? The Shin Beit for not being able to locate – until this very minute – the kidnappers, though Israel theoretically controls all the land, sea and air?
Business as usual must be changed.
Now, Israel needs to be apprehending and punishing the perpetrators. Security forces have been cautiously questioning the parents and siblings of the kidnappers for two weeks. That was out of fear for the well-being of the young men who were kidnapped and presumed alive. Now, those families should be under the most intense interrogation imaginable. The boys are dead. There’s nothing to endanger now. Everyone in Hebron who knew about the crime – and that is everyone – must be punished with long sentences without the possibility of parole or freedom in subsequent "peace settlements." Their houses must be destroyed, now. Those who knew but can’t be sentenced should be deported, with no possibility to ever return.
Israel knows, intimately, the cells of friends and accomplices who helped hide these abductors for eighteen days. We have brave men on the ground infiltrating and living in Hebron. Every one of these collaborators is an accomplice to murder. They all need to be picked up, interrogated, and sentenced in courts of law.
Today, Bibi and his entourage will be wearing dour "this is a great blow for the Jewish State" faces. The high-profile memorial services will be aired worldwide. In Hebron and Gaza, there’ll be public celebrations, fireworks, music blaring, animals slaughtered and barbecued, partying in the streets.
Clearly, Bibi’s recently releasing over a thousand terrorists, most of whom had murdered innocent Jews with their own hands, for absolutely no return, was the greatest green light possible for this present abduction. Why not? Even if they’re caught, and sentenced, they’ll be out in a few years.
Even Bibi can understand. You don’t win wars by mourning your dead while the enemy celebrates. Business as usual doesn’t have to be.
How about if Bibi forgoes the cameras tomorrow? The world has seen enough of him on TV. Let him spend his day with security forces, rounding up everyone connected with this latest cold-blooded murder of civilians.
Bring them to court. Send them away forever, with no possibility for parole. Deport them. Break their terror cells.
It’s business as usual in Israel. The mourning families will take time to recover. They’ll collect all the photos of their deceased loved ones, make family movies to remember. Things will be dedicated – here a Torah, there a new charity fund. All of our families have gone through it.
The poor civilians of Israel – down whose throats politicians have shoved “only strong people know how to suck it up” – are by now expert in sucking it up.
A long time ago, there was no room to suck anymore.
It doesn’t have to be business as usual.
Where is the righteous indignation? Where is the public demand for punishment? Collective punishment? Yes. When entire communities like Hebron are accomplice to murder – planning, concealment, abatement, support – it’s called accomplices. There needs to be a mass detention of Hamas terrorists, in the hundreds, from Hebron – tonight. Sentencing without parole, and without possible release in future "peace deals," and deportation with no possibility of return.
Releasing over a thousand murderers from prison was directly at fault for these three deaths. The abductors, rightfully, concluded that they had nothing to lose.
But it does not have to be business as usual tomorrow.
It cannot be business as usual tomorrow.
For if it is, what have we accomplished today?
American-born and educated, Rabbi Major Fishel Jacobs worked as a staff officer in the Israeli Prison Service for over a decade. His memoir, Coffee Melts Bars - My Israeli Prison Career, is available on iTunes. Jacobs is now retired and spends his time writing and speaking worldwide on his books.